Recipe makes 4 portions
4 whole fish such as Snapper, Branzini, Pompano or Lionfish that have been gutted and scaled (your fish monger will take care of this upon request or they will already be prepared this way when displayed in the store.)
Grapeseed Oil for sautéing the fish
Using heavy kitchen scissors carefully trim off the spines from along the dorsal fin of the lionfish. Cut 2 or 3 slashes into each side of the fish cutting through the meaty fillet and down to the bone. Opening up the fish meat to the exterior, but still keeping the fish whole, will allow the meat to cook more evenly when it is in the sauté pan. Season the outside of each fish with kosher salt.
Heat a wide, non-stick pan over medium high heat; when hot add a generous amount of oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Working with 2 fish at a time, place the whole fish into the hot oil. Sauté the fish without moving them for 2 to 3 minutes until the exterior is very crispy. Turn the fish over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the second side. You can slice into the pre-cut slits in the side of the fish fillet to see if the meat is cooked all the way down to the bone. If the fish is cooked then remove it from the pan and place onto serving plates. If the fish is still a bit raw in the center then leave it in the pan, turn the heat under the pan down to low, and cover the sauté pan with a lid or flat pan of some type to trap the heat inside the pan. Leave the fish to cook for another 1 or 2 minutes and check again to see if it is ready. The larger the fish the long it will take to cook all the way through to the bone. Serve the salsa along side the sautéed whole fish.
Pineapple & Roasted Poblano Chile Salsa
2 Poblano or Banana Chiles
½ tsp. Grapeseed Oil
2 cups Fresh Pineapple, small diced
1 cup Fresh Tomato finely chopped OR canned tomato
Zest and Juice of 1 Lime
2 Scallions, finely chopped
¼ cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped
Coat the peppers with the ½ teaspoon oil. Roast the peppers on the grill or under the oven broiler until lightly charred evenly around the exterior. Move the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let cool for 10 minuets. Peel the charred skin off the peppers and discard. Working over a bowl to catch any juices, remove the stem and seeds from the pepper and discard. Finely chop the cleaned pepper and return to the bowl with the accumulated juice. Stir in the pineapple, tomato, lime zest, lime juice, scallions and cilantro; season the salsa with sea salt. Salsa can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.